By Melanie Jones
The chamber’s Women in Networking Committee was formed to foster and support women in business. As a committee we focused this past year on programs that were educational, empowering, and supportive of women in the workplace.
We had four successful events, two of which we joined forces with our local hospitals, Newton-Wellesley and Beth Israel Deaconess in Needham. With them
the WIN team hosted educational sessions on two major health related topics that affect too many women: heart health and breast cancer.
In February we travelled to Newton-Wellesley Hospital to listen to the dynamic speaker and cardiologist Dr. Giulia Sheftel. She presented “The Many Faces
of Heart Disease. Real People, Real Stories” which covered but was not limited to, women improving their heart health and recognizing the signs of
a heart attack in women vs. men. Presenting important information via an educational, topical and at times entertaining PowerPoint, Dr. Sheftel left
attendees with several powerful takeaways about women’s heart health. The program was followed by a 10 minute session on mediation, one of the recommended
ways of keeping your heart healthy as women today look for ways to achieve a work-life balance.
We continued our health series at Avita of Needham where we welcomed our new neighbors: the Breast Care Center now located at Beth Israel Deaconess in
Needham. Held the last week of September, we kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month a little early with an educational discussion by Mary Jane Houlihan,
MD and Sham Venkataraman, MD. Attendees learned what the center will offer, advancements in breast cancer screening, and options we have for being
our own health care advocates when making choices for our breast health and was followed by a lively Q&A session. Both events also included great
networking opportunities compliments of our gracious hosts.
The committee also continued our successful monthly Women in Networking Lunches, always well attended and often sold out!
These popular lunches have been hosted at wonderful locations, including The Local West Newton and The Local Wellesley (with the Wellesley Chamber), Gari
of Needham Center, The Capital Grille, Davio's (with the Brookline Chamber), The Cottage, Masala Art, Seasons52, 3 Squares, Moldova, and Petit Robert.Thank
you to all of those amazing restaurants for a delicious lunch and great networking space.
We also enjoyed a fun twist on networking hosted by Construction Coordinators. Networking Bingo in July was a fun way for networkers to spend some time
getting to know a little more about their fellow women in business and proved to be a successful night of networking.
Last but not least we had an empowering morning of networking over a light breakfast and afterwards attended an enlightening workshop with author and entrepreneur
Erin Moran McCormick. Hosted by the International Entrepreneurship Center in Newton, we learned about practical action steps to kick our business up
a notch and move past fears and doubts that may be holding us back. Erin absolutely got the minds moving that morning and helped women focus on what
the next steps are for moving their success forward.
All of this targeted programming was possible due to our 2016 Women in Networking sponsor The Village Bank, our luncheon sponsors Wingate Residences and
Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and our wonderful, hardworking Women in Networking Committee. This incredible group of women is just now starting to plan
the 2017 calendar of events which will best serve this important and large segment of the chamber’s membership. We’ll remain focused on finding dynamic
and informative speakers and topics while continuing to offer relationship building and networking opportunities through the very successful lunch
Melanie Jones is chair of the chamber’s Women in Networking Committee and Director of Community Relations at HouseWorks.